Mr Tan Kin Lian, erstwhile CEO of NTUC Income for 30 years, says he will consider standing for election for the office of President of Singapore or an independent MP. I think many in Singapore have been waiting for him to say this, but Mr Tan says he will only proceed if 100,000 Singaporeans (i.e. eligible voters?) say they want him to stand.
I have suggested this in an earlier blog entry, that he should run for Parliament. I didn't know whether he would, if he did so, run under the PAP or one of the Opposition Parties. I thought the Mr Tan would have more sense than throw in his lot with the likes of Mr Chee Soon Juan, so it would make sense if he joined Mr Low Thia Kiang's Workers' Party since he has left the PAP. But now that he has indicated that he will run as an independent, there are only so many single-seat wards available in Singapore. With all due respect to Mr Chiam See Tong, who may still have the will but perhaps not the strength to continue serving his constituents in Potong Pasir as MP, he should pass the baton on to Mr Tan Kin Lian.
There has always been the question: what next after Mr Chiam, who has stood alone for Potong Pasir as MP for 24 years now? Would the PAP just 'walk' in to re-claim the ward, just like that? Of course the PAP candidates have been gaining ground on Mr Chiam in the last two GE, so it isn't like there are no supporters for the PAP in Potong Pasir. But if the PAP were to regain control, then it would be a loss to Singapore for independent voices. Sure, Mr Low would try his level best to prevent that, but he may not have the right person on the ground in Potong Pasir to mount a credible challenge. Remember that the PAP has been working the ground for some time now, if only to nurse a sore thumb that never seem to be healed. So who better to stand in Potong Pasir than the independent Mr Tan Kin Lian?
Like Mr Barack Obama, Mr Tan is internet savvy. I hear that he is quite good in IT too. Like Barack Obama, Mr Tan represents a fresh voice for the people. But I think the most important thing is that he cares to speak out for the people. This is what Parliament needs more of.
If Mr Tan want's endorsement, he has got mine. But of course you cannot rely on an anonymous name for endorsement. So let Mr Tan put up a platform to collect this endorsement and I will put my real name down. Of course I cannot promise to move house to Potong Pasir to give him my vote, nor can I prevent the PAP government in redrawing the electoral boundaries, but he has my encouragement, however much that is of value to him.
How about it, Mr Tan?
Image: morgueFile.com. Author: Nicolas Raymond